Romania’s entry for the 2016 contest in Stockholm, which featured a metrosexual Khal Drogo (and a sincerely enjoyable song), was unfortunately derailed at the last minute due to the national broadcaster’s unpaid bills. It appears they’ve settled that debt, however, and in their grand return to the Eurovision stage, are sending something a little more upbeat. Behold “Yodel It!” by Ilinca featuring Alex Florea:
I want to laugh at this song, loud and long and clear. And let’s not be coy, I definitely am, but it feels like I’m laughing WITH these performers. This is a song about living your life on your own terms; one of the verses says, basically, “Hate your job? Yodel and you’ll feel better!” That is a ridiculous suggestion, but it seems like both performers are committed to it. That makes this a cringeworthy AND fun three minutes.
I have no expectation this act will have much success, but there are a couple of improvements I’d like to see. Alex’s performance is fine, but his costuming — especially his hair, lord his hair — need some work. Ilinca’s yodel is pretty great (I guess, although I only have “The Lonely Goatherd” for comparison and nobody benefits from comparison with Dame Julie Andrews) but her vocals in the last third are less good. She also moves awkwardly onstage, appearing to nearly forget her blocking and dance moves on at least one occasion. Perhaps they could take a page from Italy’s book and have dancers in goat costumes onstage? That would relieve some of the pressure from both of them, and provide some dynamism for the camera crews to work with. I’m not even kidding here.
Go big or go home, Romania. We’re all counting on you to help this year’s contest be a little more fun.